Our Mission

With over 20 years experience, our office is dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services. We provide timely personal service and treat each client’s concerns as if it were our own. We provide legal representation that is both practical and zealous in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Common Divorce Questions

The following is provided as general information only. This website is intended to provide general information about Attorney Michael S. Greenberg and the services of his office. Any information provided is not and should not be considered as legal advice nor should it be relied on by any person or persons to act or not act in a given situation. The individual facts and circumstances applicable to your inquiry or matter may result in this information not applying to you or applying in a different manner. The laws and application of laws can vary greatly from state to state and are subject to change. Attorney Greenberg is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The information provided is not a substitute for legal advice. You should always consult directly with an attorney concerning specific questions you may have. You should not act or decline to act based on any information you receive from this website.

What is an automatic restraining order?

Upon the filing of an action for divorce or upon being served with a summons and complaint for divorce an automatic restraining order goes into effect regarding what the parties may or may not do while their divorce is pending. This should not be confused with a M.G.L. Chapter 209A Abuse Prevention Order commonly referred to as a “209A” Restraining Order) The automatic restraining order remains in place until such time as the Probate Court modifies or dissolves the order (or a part of the order). This order may be modified by a written agreement with the court’s approval, if the Divorce case is dismissed or by the entry of a Judgment of Divorce.

The order specifically prohibits either party to a complaint for divorce or a complaint for separate support from (1) selling, transferring, encumbering, concealing, assigning, removing or in any way disposing of any property belonging to either party, (2) incurring any further debts that would burden the credit of the other party, (3) directly or indirectly changing the beneficiary of any life insurance policy, pension or retirement plan, (4) directly or indirectly causing the other party or minor children from being removed from any coverage under any existing insurance policy or allowing any such policy to lapse, including medical, dental, life, automobile, and disability. There are exceptions to this. For example, a party may sell or transfer or dispose of property as required for (1) for reasonable living expenses, (2) in the ordinary and usual course of business, (3) the ordinary and usual course of investing, (4) payment of reasonable attorneys fees and costs concerning the divorce matter, (5) by written agreement of both parties or (6) by order of the court.

The most important thing to take from this is that before taking any action with regards to any of the above categories, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to make sure that what you are doing is lawful and that you understand the potential consequences from taking any such actions. Your failure to comply with the provisions of the automatic restraining order may be found to be a contempt of court for which you may be subject to numerous penalties.